The project is also a critique of the traditional model of coworking spaces which are cut off from the public and often privatized. Working Capitol introduces programs that bridge the public activities of the city and the private activities of the office proper with a somewhat ‘privileged’ zone, mixing public and private through an active patio terrace, café, and flexible lounge space.

The original idea came about from Principal Christopher Esper’s Graduate Thesis at the Harvard Graduate School of Design which explored how office design and architecture is changing given the ubiquitous role of technology and remote working. Both Christopher’s research and the maturation of the concept focus on the adaptive reuse of older buildings as the site for this prototype.

Completed in January 2020, this adaptive reuse project was a considerable undertaking for the owners/developers of the project. It took almost 18 months of planning and design to develop this concept. The building was originally a car dealership abutting an empty lot. The property was eventually enclosed, and most recently housed a furniture import company. Located between two busy cross streets and on a state highway on the edge of downtown, the property was not zoned to allow for restaurant use. The design theme originates from central Mexican art and materials, including handmade cement tiles, breezeblock fabricated in Mexico, and a color scheme that is rich with color. During the design process, an idea was born to keep the existing fenestration openings, but recess a storefront far enough back to allow for covered patio seating, which was a huge necessity to find relief from the blistering summer sun. This led to the implementation of a walk up/to go window, which stays open late and really allows for a more pedestrian, local vibe.

Taconeta is situated within Working Capitol, an innovative cowork space housing a variety of businesses, including Salt + Honey Bakery Cafe. This placement is a perfect complement to those seeking a balance between work and play, as well as offering an opportunity for varied dining experiences to the general public. It’s the perfect model for “collaboration over competition,” where businesses enhance each other rather than compete.

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